Review: Silver Nitrate - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.

Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.

Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.

Book Type:

Occult Thriller

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Review: Silver Nitrate
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Review: Silver Nitrate

Two friends revive a decades-old curse in the latest dark thriller from Silvia Moreno-Garcia (MEXICAN GOTHIC, VELVET WAS THE NIGHT).

This is my third book from Moreno-Garcia and her prowess at tackling any genre—while still imbuing her singular style—is deeply impressive. Be it gothic horror or historical noir or this latest foray into the occult, she immerses you in a world, in a time, vividly and meticulously wrought. It’s a visceral, almost textural layer to her storytelling which is instantly transportive.

We meet long-time friends Montserrat and Tristán in early 1990s Mexico City. Montserrat is a reclusive sound editor and Tristán, an aging actor whose life was never quite the same following a car crash which killed his then-girlfriend.

Everything changes once they meet once-famous horror film director and Tristán’s neighbor, Abel Urueta. Montserrat’s particular obsession with his never completed film—Beyond the Yellow Door—makes them fast friends. Those involved in the project believe they were cursed in the aftermath of magic gone wrong, and so Urueta convinces Tristán and Montserrat to help him reverse the curse once and for all.

The trio unleash something far more terrifying, however, awaking dormant magic that wreaks havoc once again.

With SILVER NITRATE, Moreno-Garcia delivers a sinister story of sorcery, suspense, and history. Well-drawn characters, vivid worldbuilding, and references to real films, actors, and occultists helped steep me in the narrative. As someone who grew up in Mexico (Matamoros, like Tristán), I relished in these details which anchored me even more to the story. But it’s the whole of her storytelling style—rich in detail and unsettling with its menacing magic, that holds you captive until the end.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia casts her own spell with such a riveting, spine-chilling read—I’ll follow her ‘into the night’ anytime.

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